Japan’s bag of goodies for Africa

Japan's bag of goodies for Africa

As the curtains come down on the 6th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICADVI) Kenya as well as 51 other African countries will be seeking to renew ties with Japan, the world’s third largest economy.

Over the next three years, Japan has committed Sh1 trillion to Africa, as part of the Asian power house’s charm offensive to stamp its influence on the continent.

Having seen its influence in Africa chipped away by China, Japan put on a showcase through TICADVI reminding the 35 heads of state in attendance just how they could foster development through stringer ties.

At the end of the two day conference, a total of 73 memorandums of understanding were signed with a further Sh3 trillion committed by Japan billion in public and private support for infrastructure development, education and healthcare expansion in Africa.

At least 25 Japanese companies were on hand with 22 of them signing MOUs with African countries.

The Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the large number of the captains of industries from Japan who have accompanied him is a sign of commitment by the top companies from his country to grow together with Africa.

He said in order for Africa to continue its quality growth, private sector role is very critical.

Prime Minister Abe said Japan and the continent of Africa will launch the “Japan-Africa Public and Private Economic Forum” as one of the most important outcomes of TICAD V1 conference.

“In order to develop Africa’s investment climate, Japan will promote high-quality investment agreements in Africa more actively than ever before,” said PM Abe.

Speaking at the closing ceremony President Uhuru Kenyatta stressed on the importance of entrepreneurship as a key driver of economic growth, socio-economic transformation, job creation and social inclusion.

“The Government of Kenya is ready and willing to support partnerships that will ensure that our youth not only get quality jobs but our farmers can earn more from their sweat and at least 90 percent of their agricultural exports are processed locally,” President Kenyatta said.

Among the companies which signed the MOUs were Keidanren, a private comprehensive economic organization, Nippon Signal Company which deals with railway signaling and traffic signaling systems, JFE Engineering Corporation involved in steel making, shipbuilding businesses and other activities in energy, environment, urban infrastructure and industrial machinery, Toyota Tsusho which has been doing business in Africa for over 90 years.

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